Archive | May, 2012

Interview with Mesa Water’s Paul Shoenberger on CalDesal

Interview with Mesa Water’s Paul Shoenberger on CalDesal

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

In January, I sat down for 30 minutes with Paul Shoenberger, the general manager for the Mesa Consolidated Water District in Costa Mesa, California, to talk about CalDesal a non-profit organization whose 70 or so members, according to April, 2011 stats (neither Mesa nor CalDesal will release up to date figures), are about evenly divided between public water agencies and private water-related companies.

CalDesal lobbies for the construction of ocean and groundwater water desalination (although the emphasis is mostly on ocean desalination) and

Posted in Environment, Headlines, Poseidon, Water, Water Boarding6 Comments

Advertising: Are You Buying It?

Advertising: Are You Buying It?

By Sarah (Steve) Mosko
Special to the Surf City Voice

Here’s an inescapable reality: There are only two ways to be rich – make more or want less. This is known as “Rimo’s Rule,” though that’s beside the point.

Rather, the point here is to recognize, in our consumer-based, advertising-saturated society, how very hard it is to want less materially yet why we must to do so anyway. While it’s intuitive that most people – both the “99 percent” and the “1 percent” – could achieve greater contentment in life by better appreciating the

Posted in Energy, Environment, Headlines1 Comment

‘Superman’ Water Manager Slams Surf City Voice on Journalism Ethics – SCV replies to John Schatz of Santa Margarita Water

‘Superman’ Water Manager Slams Surf City Voice on Journalism Ethics – SCV replies to John Schatz of Santa Margarita Water

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Several months ago this reporter submitted a Public Records Act request to John Schatz, a public official of the Santa Margarita Water District in south Orange County.

Schatz responded in a timely fashion with the requested information, complete with explanatory comments and some strong advice on the ethics of journalism.

Mr. Schatz, who is the seventh highest paid public agency official in California, recently announced that he is retiring soon, but he has been a prolific worker by all accounts.

Not only does

Posted in Environment, Headlines, Water, Water Boarding3 Comments

Proposed MWDOC Transparency Reform Meets Inside Resistance

Proposed MWDOC Transparency Reform Meets Inside Resistance

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre’s proposal to increase transparency at the agency through self-policing of financial and conflict of interest disclosures is moving at a snail’s pace, if at all.

Last February, Barbre told the Voice that he wanted to have the MWDOC board of directors certify that to the best of its knowledge no conflicts of interest exist for its elected directors, representatives that it appoints to the Metropolitan Water District of

Posted in Headlines, MWD, MWDOC, Water Boarding0 Comments

Water Board’s Penthouse-View Meeting: More transparency please, and save some food for the water buffaloes

Water Board’s Penthouse-View Meeting: More transparency please, and save some food for the water buffaloes

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

A “special” meeting of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), originally designed by Best Best & Krieger of Irvine– the largest public agency law firm in California – to schmooze its new clients, became a public embarrassment Tuesday when the plush solitude of its penthouse-view executive board room was invaded by a small band of transparency advocates.

MWDOC meetings are normally held on the ground (and only) floor of its home office, humbly but conveniently located next to the County’s

Posted in Environment, Headlines, MWDOC, Poseidon, Water, Water Boarding2 Comments

Comment: Water Agency Should be More Transparent on Huntington Beach Desal Plant

Comment: Water Agency Should be More Transparent on Huntington Beach Desal Plant

By Joe Geever
Surf Rider Foundation

Joe Geever is the Water Programs Manager for the Surf Rider Foundation, which works to protect ocean resources. He made these comments at the May 15 meeting of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Water District of Orange County. Originally, the directors had planned to go into closed session to discuss pricing arrangements for water to be delivered from an as yet unpermitted and unfinanced ocean desalination plant proposed by Poseidon Resources Inc. to be built in Huntington Beach, California.

Posted in Environment, Headlines, MWDOC, Poseidon, Water, Water Boarding1 Comment

Comment: Former Surf City Mayor says Closed Water Agency Meeting Violates the Brown Act

Comment: Former Surf City Mayor says Closed Water Agency Meeting Violates the Brown Act

By Debbie Cook

Environmental attorney Debbie Cook is a former Huntington Beach City Council member and two-term mayor of that city. She served on California’s State Desalination Task Force and as a city official voted against the ocean desalination plant proposed by Poseidon Resources Inc. Cook has been monitoring government transparency at local water districts. She made these public comments at a special meeting held by the Board of Directors of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), May 15, 2012, in the penthouse floor

Posted in Environment, Headlines, MWDOC, Poseidon, Water, Water Boarding1 Comment

GM Nixes Secret Desal Talks with Poseidon After Brown Act Complaints

GM Nixes Secret Desal Talks with Poseidon After Brown Act Complaints

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Confronted by complaints of illegality, the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) dropped a scheduled closed session section of a meeting of its board of directors scheduled for today (May 15) at 11 a.m.

General Manager Kevin Hunt had scheduled the closed session in order to meet with officials of Poseidon Resources Inc., the company that proposes to build the as yet unfinanced and unpermitted $750 million ocean desalination plant that would convert about 100 million gallons of ocean water into 50 million gallons of drinking water every day.

Posted in Environment, Headlines, MWDOC, Poseidon, Water, Water Boarding4 Comments


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